So far in our new Inside Fitness training blog series, we’ve covered home workouts that train your triceps, biceps and legs.  Yet, let’s not forget a certain three-headed member of your muscular anatomy that’s not only very functional, but also gives you an extremely athletic (and often sexy) appearance if you develop them correctly: your shoulders.  Men and women alike who’ve built well-developed delts can lay claim to a very attractive broad look up-top.  Here’s how you can achieve this shape in the comfort of your own home.

SHOULDERS TRAINING
While it is possible to hit your shoulders using strictly your own body weight, this mode of exercise is rather limited and cumbersome.  But all you need is a pair of inexpensive, compact dumbbells so that you can comfortably train all three heads of your delts in a very small frame of space.  The following workout includes both isolation and compound movements that provide a comprehensive shoulders workout.  Let’s get right to the exercises:

Seated Overhead Press
Pick up a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip.  Sit tall in a chair such that there’s a 90-degree bend at your waist and your knees.  Although you can perform this movement standing, you can better isolate your shoulders by taking away the mechanism of your legs and sitting.  Draw the weights up (backhanded) until your wrists are inline with your chin and your elbows are low.  Press the weights forcefully upward until your arms are extended.  Pause in the peak position for one second, then lower using control to the start.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  8-10     Rest Between Sets:  1:30 mins.

Lateral Raise
Hold a dumbbell in each hand using a neutral grip.  Stand tall, with back straight, legs long and your head level.  Let the weights rest in your hands with arms hanging freely at your sides.  Separate your feet slightly (no wider than your shoulders).  Bend your knees just slightly for stability.  When ready, raise your arms in an outward arc away from your sides.  Continue until your arms are inline with your shoulders, then pause for a half-second.  Slowly lower the weights along the same path back to the bottom.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  10-12     Rest Between Sets:  1:00 min.

Front Raise
Hold a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip.  Stand tall, with back straight, legs long and your head level.  Let the weights rest in your hands with arms hanging freely in front of your thighs.  Separate your feet slightly (no wider than your shoulders).  Bend your knees just slightly for stability.  When ready, raise your arms in an outward arc away from your front.  Continue until your arms are inline with your shoulders, then pause for a half-second.  Slowly lower the weights along the same path back to the bottom.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  10-12     Rest Between Sets:  1:00 min.

Bent-Over Reverse Fly
Hold a dumbbell in each hand using a neutral grip.  Stand tall at first, with back straight, legs elongated and your head level.  Let the weights rest in your hands with arms hanging freely at your sides.  Separate your feet slightly (no wider than your shoulders).  Bend your knees about 30 degrees and then hinge forward from your hips until your torso is about parallel to the floor.  When ready, raise your arms in an outward arc away from your sides.  Continue until your arms are in line with your shoulders, then pause for a half-second.  Slowly lower the weights along the same path back to the bottom.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  10-12     Rest Between Sets:  1:00 min.

Diving Dolphin
Set yourself into a standard plank position, hovering just above the floor with body long and supported only by your forearms and toes.  Keep your head inline with your spine.  Clasp your hands together and separate your feet to shoulder width.  When ready, shuffle your feet forward, toward your upper body, always keeping contact with the floor.  Your hips and butt will raise up until you’ve formed a triangle with the floor.  Hold in this position for 20-40 seconds, then relax.  This works all three shoulder heads, especially the front head.

Sets:  3     Reps:  20-40 seconds     Rest Between Sets:  1:00 min.

HOME SHOULDERS WORKOUT SUMMARY

Exercise                                 Sets     Reps               Rest
SEATED OVERHEAD PRESS       3-4      8-10                1:30 mins.
LATERAL RAISE                        3-4      10-12              1:00 min.
FRONT RAISE                          3-4      10-12              1:00 min.
BENT-OVER REVERSE FLY         3-4      10-12              1:00 min.
DIVING DOLPHIN                    3          20-40 secs.     1:00 min.